McElahney's gets spot on food list

Published 1:27 am Tuesday, December 14, 2004

By By Arthur McLean
Less than two months in operation, and Atmore's newest restaurant is already making its presence felt.
McElaney's double-cut stuffed pork chop will be featured in an upcoming brochure called "100 Dishes to eat in Alabama before you die," produced by the Alabama Department of Tourism.
The brochure kicks off the department's 2005 campaign, "The year of food."
The brochure is already on its way to visitor centers across the state and "it's a great item for people who want to eat their way across the state," said Marilyn Stamps with the Department of Tourism.
McElhaney's was formerly the home of Gerlach's, and Gerlach's was originally nominated for the list when the department was accepting nominations.
"We heard they had closed, but discovered that McElhaney's was also a great restaurant with great food, perfect for the list," Stamps said.
The news was a pleasant surprise for the McElhaneys, Chris and wife Beth. "This came as a big surprise, to be open only six weeks," Chris McElhaney said. "It's a great feeling to be included in something like this, it's like Christmas," Beth McElhaney said.
Chris handles the chef duties, while his wife Beth manages the staff operations. The couple is originally from Bratt, and after working in one of Emeril Lagasse's restaurants in New Orleans, took a chance on opening their own place back home. The couple now lives in Atmore.
The inclusion on this list is the second honor for the young couple. Chris McElhaney's shrimp and grits took honors at the inaugural Taste of the South event put on by the Atmore Chamber's Leadership 2004 class this summer.
McElhaney said the dish is not your average pork chop. "It's double cut, and brined and marinated. It's very moist, and the greens are not your grandma's collards, they compliment it very well."
To order a free copy of the brochure, call 1-800-ALABAMA or go to

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